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Laudato Si and Consumption

This blog has struggled to find plausible solutions to the planet’s core problem of “Too many people consuming too much.” Our journeys into politics, markets and psychology have not yielded much gold as ways out of the box created by industrial man’s treating the environment as a limitless Christmas tree and also as a boundless garbage dump. Pope Francis encyclical “Laudato Si” puts the weight of the Church on what may be the best way out of the trap, a widespread “ecologial conversion.” He expresses it as follows:

“222. Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life, and encourages a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption. We need to take up an ancient lesson, found in different religious traditions and also in the Bible. It is the conviction that “less is more”. A constant flood of new consumer goods can baffle the heart and prevent us from cherishing each thing and each moment. To be serenely present to each reality, however small it may be, opens us to much greater horizons of understanding and personal fulfilment. Christian spirituality proposes a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little. It is a return to that simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small things, to be grateful for the opportunities which life affords us, to be spiritually detached from what we possess, and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack. This implies avoiding the dynamic of dominion and the mere accumulation of pleasures.”

I urge you to read the entire encyclical, which I take as the most powerful and hopeful statement on our blog’s concerns available anywhere.


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